- Grove City, Pennsylvania

December 27, 2012

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Trading Hanrahan was good move for Buccos

By Corey J. Corbin
Allied News Sports Columnist

OPINION — AS MUCH AS I’D like to comment on the Steelers-Bengals game Sunday, I can’t do so because of early deadlines centering around Christmas.

So I’m going to improvise here.

Initially, I thought I’d clean up some of the little tidbits floating around in my noggin, but then the Pirates shipped Joel Hanrahan to Boston for a handful of prospects.

As much as I like ‘The Hammer,’ I think the Bucs did the right thing selling high with him.

I just don’t know if he’d be thought of any more highly than what he is right now after two straight All-Star campaigns.

Plus, he was due to make around $7 million this year, there’s no way in H-E-double hockey sticks I’m paying a closer that much money.

A closer pitches what 1 inning a day for no more than three straight days?

Spending several hundred thousand dollars per appearance just isn’t financially sound.

But with the trade, we have to hope a couple things go right for the Pirates.

We’ve got to hope the Buccos turn that money into some major league players either through free agency or trades, who’ll contribute at the big league level and not go right into Bob Nutting’s pocket.

I don’t know about you, but I’d hope the money is turned into a player, who can help offensively.

We also need to hope Jerry Sands and Stolmy Pimental (and whoever else they end up getting in the deal) turn out to bonafide major league players.

From what I hear, Sands could be the real deal bat we’ve been looking for to compliment ‘Cutch’ in the line-up. A couple guys I know that are big Dodgers fans were ticked off when he was dealt to Boston in the mega-trade last summer.

If he works out, this trade is a win for the Pirates, but as with all prospects, that’s a big IF.

I’ve got to backtrack a little bit here and retouch something I touched on briefly earlier.

And that’s the Pirates being financially smart.

After two months of free agency, I’m not sure they are being smart with their money.

Throwing the money they’ve thrown at catcher Russell Martin and pitcher Francisco Liriano, to me, isn’t smart.

Yes, Martin was widely regarded as one of the best catchers on the market, but the dude batted .211 with the Yankees and all the protection that line-up provides.

What’s he gonna do with Clint Barmes or whoever bats seventh and eighth swinging the stick behind him?

And all those homers?

I think that was a product of the new Yankee Stadium and all the home runs that place produces. It’s like Coors Field East with all the balls flying out of there.

Those people that liked the signing are saying he’ll throw out more runners than Rod Barajas or Michael McHenry did last year.

To that, I say “So what?”.

Throwing out base runners is an overrated statistic to me, because how often do they actually take off nowadays?

Don’t get me started on the Liriano signing.

He hasn’t been right since undergoing Tommy John surgery as a rookie.

If he can find his old form – which he’s had several seasons to do so – then it’s a steal, but he’s been struggling to find his command of the strike zone and I doubt he’ll discover it at PNC Park.

I guess these moves must be the Pirates’ way of rewarding us this Christmas season for being good little fans and flocking to PNC Park all summer.

In case you aren’t getting what I’m talking about, we’re getting lumps of coal instead of the pennants and winning seasons that are dancing around in our heads.

Agree, Disagree or just want to comment contact Corey at